The name says it all ..
Butter (we all know what that is) and Kase, the word for cheese in German speaking, lands and falls into the international cheese language for cheese:
Kase, Kass, Queso, Queijo, Caccio, and even the English Cheese all evolved from old Latin for cheese, "Caseus".
Somehow just the name Butterkase has us thinking about snack time, with this cheese just sliced or melted over something tasty.
The mild flavor and soft texture make this an ideal cheese for the table. I am sure that a lot of those requests that came to me for this recipe came from folks that grew up with this as the 'GoTo' cheese at home when young (or not so young).
The cheese is normally presented as a rectangular loaf-like shape and normally weighs about 3.5 lbs. It does contain a high moisture content and at room temperature may begin to deform slightly. The higher moisture is also part of the reason why it has such a buttery texture and melts so well. This higher moisture is, in large part, due to the way the cheese curd develops.
The cheese can also be seen in low disc shaped forms as well and is probably the easiest way to make this at home, as in my photo above.
The surface of the cheese undergoes a series of light salt washes during its early aging life, but this is kept to a minimum and eventually washed off to favor a milder flavor. This also serves to maintain the high moisture and thin supple rind.
The body of the cheese is usually quite open with irregular holes (as in the photo to the left). These are called mechanical holes and are the result of an early draining of the curds and very little to no press weight during the molding.
I have also seen Butterkase showing the round shiny holes from internal expanding gas pockets, similar to found in Gouda or Alpine style cheeses (Comte, Gruyere, etc.). These would be the result of a different press weight and warmer aging conditions.